kiwi07 comments

Posted in: Passengers begin leaving after ship's virus quarantine ends See in context

Up to half the of the passengers are Japanese, and of those released after negative tests, they will go back to their homes. As they've been away from their homes for so long already, the very first place they'll be going after that is to the supermarket to renew their grocery supplies. Maybe a kombini or two for other things first, some may need to go back to work straight away, potentially crowded subway train rides involved for some of the above... Yup, this might become interesting.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: These things are likely to boom in the Japanese market in 2020 See in context

Considering the laws around both electric kickboards, and full electric bikes (not the pedal assist only electric bikes), then neither will become popular until things are changed. As it is, not only do you need a license (which excludes app rental services like in Europe becoming available), but the bike or kickboard also needs a number late, the rider must have a helmet, and they must be operated on the road at all times. All these things make them less practical than either. 50 cc scooter (which has more power and greater range for the same license and riding requirements), or pedal electric bikes, which can be ridden on footpaths and rented with apps.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: E-cigarettes raise lung disease risks, but less than smoking: study See in context

Its popularity will cause manufacturers to cut corners and use cheaper more dangerous chemicals.

Yes, that seems to be a leading cause of issues, especially with the THC based vape liquids. In addition, however, is that nicotine only has a vaporization temperature of 95 degrees Celsius (200 Fahrenheit), and so is easy to vape at a comfortable temperature. However, THC has a vaporization point of 150 Celsius (300 Fahrenheit ), and CBD has a vaporization point of 180 degrees Celsius (350+ Fahrenheit). Recent studies I’ve seen suggest the high THC and CBD vaporization temperatures push the nickel-chromium heating coils to a much higher operating temperature than they were designed for, leading to coil breakdown and particles of chromium and nickel scarring the lungs.

I consume CBD in both the isolate crystal and full spectrum forms for a medical condition, and tried vaping it, but the high vaporization temperature makes even the milder vape form rough on the throat. It’s unfortunate, as vaping takes about a minute to get it into my bloodstream and has relatively OK adsorption, but ingesting it takes up to three hours for it to take effect.

for nicotine cravers, vaping at least doesn’t have the carbon monoxide problem that normal smoking does, and doesn’t have the tar problem, and as you point out, the lower temperatures of nicotine vaping and the non-smoke form does feel a lot milder. But like any new technology, it’s often only later in hindsight that other hidden issues start to arise. Nicotine, apart from being addictive, isn’t considered any more harmful than coffee drinking (as is noted by long term studies in people who took nicotine in gum form only), it’s the quick smoking delivery method where the problem is.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Does living in Japan change the way we speak English? See in context

Does living in Japan change the way we speak English?

No, I'm fine thank you, and you?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Former defense minister shot near home in Iwate See in context

Since it was a handgun that he used,

Thanks for adding that info, it changes the setup completely. It appeared at first that it was a disgruntled farmer with his licensed hunting/pest control shotgun. Then I read in a Japanese report that he had borrowed the gun from a friend, which seemed odd. Given the strict criteria for owning licensed guns in Japan, I couldn't imagine anyone simply loaning out their licensed shotgun to a friend. Although given the harsh penalties for owning an illegal handgun and ammunition, it's still amazing that any friend would loan one out.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Supreme Court upholds ruling commuting death sentence to life for man who fatally stabbed 2 people See in context

Perhaps it's a way so he doesn't get what he want anymore and has to live in agony, since he's stated he wants the death penalty.

That was my thought too. For some people, life in prison can be a worse fate than death. Since it was his desire to die, and this is not the first case of its kind in Japan where someone has killed with the hope they'll receive the death sentence, then denying him what he wants is a way to deter copycats. Of course, from a legal perspective, they can't frame it as simply as that, so use a legal arguments about premeditation as an excuse.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: 80-year-old man, driving wrong way on expressway, killed in head-on collision See in context

On a TV report I saw about it, they said it appeared as though the driver going the wrong way was hunched (slumped) over, which gave the impression there was a medical event behind this situation. His turn indicator light was blinking; the impression being that he had a sudden stroke or heaet attack while making a turn. Although, I still struggle to understand how a sudden heart attack or stroke could result in a slumped over driver going the wrong way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Nixon told Kissinger pact allowing nuclear weapons into Okinawa 'satisfactory' See in context

One of their one megaton bombs was lost, as well as a pilot and his A4 Skyhawk, about 68 miles off the coast of Kagoshima. Neither the pilot, plane, or bomb were ever recovered from the 16,000 ft deep waters. One of the confirmed and declassified broken arrow incidents. The incident was declassified in 1989.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Hyogo man arrested for creating biohazard zone with his 'own' pee See in context

So, the urine angle was just click-bait after all...

Depends on the concentration. Ammonium perchlorate is a common substance in urine, it all depends on the concentration. Likewise, arsenic is commonly adsorbed by most of us as it is naturally present in the environment. Arsenite levels in Japanese people are 3~10 times higher than those in the North American population as seaweed is relatively high in arsenic (

If it was urine from his mother that was years old, one wonders if it may have concentrated through some of it evaporating. I can only imagine what other chemical reactions may have occurred in years old urine as compounds break down (the urea breaking down to ammonium compounds for example).

I guess if his mother is now deceased, it’s possible he held onto it out of some weird attachment, or something.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Hyogo man arrested for creating biohazard zone with his 'own' pee See in context

Interesting plot twist.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: New Zealand plans armed police patrols after Christchurch massacre See in context

As they pointed out in the article, handguns and rifles are already kept in the patrol cars, and police almost never patrol without their cars, so they've already had firearms available to them for years, they just weren't usually carried. So, no real big changes there. As for the gun law changes, semi-auto shotguns of the type used by the duck hunters, and semi-auto rimfire rifles are still allowed, as are all bolt action rifles. The international media have at times overstated the extent of the gun law changes, to make it sound like NZ outlawed most guns. It's really just centre fire semi-autos that have been removed.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympic CEO reminds visitors that cannabis is banned in Japan See in context

I may have been premature saying you can buy without import though. I'd agree, it would require a fair bit of trust that the Customs folks know their stuff. If you don't like holdups at the airport I'd say let the postal system handle it.

As you mention, it would be a hassle to bring it in with you. I've imported it by mail order, but I emailed customs first to clear it and check procedures. They did require a third party certificate of analysis supplied by the manufacturer, which was fine, and they also took a very small sample to check for themselves. Other than that they were helpful and sped things through.

I wouldn't call CBD a miracle, but I use it along with the opioids prescribed by my Japanese doctor, and the combination helps for a chronic pain condition.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan slowly buying into cashless future despite widespread misgivings See in context

I use prepay cashless forms of payment for most things (Nanaco, Line Cash, prepay credit cards, etc). But keep cash at home in case of an earthquake cutting power.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: NZ gov't to announce gun reforms within 10 days See in context

I've read the white national terrorist had his weapons modified to fire semi-automatic.

From what I've read, he modified his rifles to fire fully automatic; they were already semiautomatic when he purchased them. He also added high capacity magazines. It has always amazed me that they never did anything about the high capacity magazine loophole. In part, it was because the firearm laws were last changed 30 years ago, and so complacency had crept in. When I did my NZ firearm's license, I though the process was quite well thought out, but already then I thought it needed upgrading to keep it current. After I got my license and started seeing all the loopholes, I was shocked that they weren't doing anything about it.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Posted in: AI-based medical diagnostic services to be launched in Japan See in context


Sorry to hear about your misdiagnosis. My brain tumor was first diagnosed as being gout, and that was despite both me and my wife's insistence that it couldn't possibly be gout.

Once we got to a university teaching hospital however, they were a welcome change in professionalism. If possible, look around for a big university teaching hospital to get a another opinion. The one I use now has visiting overseas surgeons, English speaking neurosurgeons, and the surgeons go for three month training based sabbaticals to North American hospitals every few years. The morning ward rounds are even conducted in English, because the head teaching professor thinks surgeons should have a good grasp of English so they can understand the latest foreign medical research, as well as attend overseas conferences.

As for misdiagnoses issues, that happens in every country, including my home country. My home country has started using AI diagnostic tools as a backup to the GPs diagnosis in some clinics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Faced with destroyed crops, city in Chiba encourages hunting as business See in context

As Yubaru mentioned, shotguns are used here for hunting (unless you've had a shotgun license for 10 years, only then are you allowed to apply for a rifle license). I'm in the process of getting my shotgun license. At first I didn't like the idea of hunting with shotguns as it seemed like a person couldn't make a quick kill, but then I was taught about rifled shotgun slugs as an alternative to rifles. I used used to hunt in New Zealand, simply because the country is filled with introduced animals and there are no native predators. I lived semi-rural, so hunting was a normal activity, including for my father, who I learnt from.

I can't say I agree with trapping for large animals though, as it can be quite cruel. We use instant kill traps for ferrets, stoats, weasels, and possums in NZ, but I don't think people are allowed to trap for larger animals because of the same issue that Yubaru pointed out.

The natural predator for Japanese deer and boar was the Asian wolf, but that became extinct in Japan 300 years ago. I actually would prefer wolves be introduced as a way to balance the ecosystem, but that option will never be allowed. Therefore, humane hunting is fine. The hunting license system is quite extensive in Japan, but the actual process to become licensed for a firearm is about the same in New Zealand as it is in Japan (though the Japanese test is easier than the NZ test for a firearm's license).

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Alternative medicine might help ease psoriasis symptoms See in context


High CBD and other cannabinoids such as CBN and CBG, products are available in Japan, but those products are mostly in oil or capsule form for internal use, or E-liquid form for vaping. I haven't seen any creams available for skin use here, but there's no reason why they wouldn't become available, as long as the THC content is below 0.3%.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Student held for production of explosives and 3D gun also charged with stimulant possession See in context

Give him a warning only, and steer him towards a proper university course where he can channel his interests into a useful career in Japan's industries. Although, I'm in two minds about this, simply because it is the same type of thing I did as a high school teenager. When I was in high school, I was a near drop out and had no interest in school. In the country I lived, we could only buy fireworks for a few days each year, and I loved fireworks (more the sparkler type instead of the bang type). I decided to make my own gunpowder and fireworks. I learned from library chemistry books that I needed potassium nitrate, and so set about producing a nitric acid electric-arc still, to make the nitrate. I couldn't quite get the gunpowder mixture correct though (it fizzled more). Through further non-stop experiments (over about a year), I was able to make small amounts of high explosives instead, and some RDX and other things, but none of those were suitable for fireworks (too powerful and the brisance problem). Ironically, it was the gunpowder that I couldn't get right, but everything else that was a lot stronger was easier to make (this was 1980s, so pre-internet help days). One thing it did help me with though was my high school grades in science went through the roof, and it was the one subject I could do. It saved me from dropping out of high school. That taught me I could actually be OK at subjects, and so I later went and did undergrad and then post-grad university.

This kid doesn't sound like he had any nefarious motives, he was just curious about the world and wanted to find out things. I don't think there should be any criminal charges; at the same time, I don't want anyone in society who wants to make stuff, able to find out on the internet how to go about it. In the pre-internet age when I was messing about with this stuff my view was that the effort required to do it, meant that most people who had nefarious motives wouldn't have been able to do it. It probably wouldn't take too long now to gather all the same info that it took me more than year to discover by myself.

In this particular case, it seems the only real danger was to himself from an accident. I taught an after school science club at a school I taught at in Japan, and none of the students were anywhere near this kids level. The important thing is that those kids who figure this stuff out, don't go and teach others who may have different motives.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Marijuana tops paint thinner as most abused substance in Japan See in context

I hate to think what regular paint thinner sniffing does to the developing brain in terms of potential long term effects. I assume when they say pain thinner, they mean it's being sniffed, rather than taken in some other form.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Posted in: Demand for foreign workers may soften Japan's immigration rules See in context

Reminds a bit of Australia's policy in the 50-60s where they tried to take the whitest looking immigrants from Europe due to a perception that other cultures wouldn't intergrate properly into society due to language and cultural barriers.

Indeed. New Zealand was the same. My parents immigrated from Switzerland to NZ during that period. At first NZ and Aussy only wanted Englanders, but then when they couldn't get enough of them, they took white Europeans. The theory, as you stated, was that they spoke a funny accent, but at least they were the correct color and had the right cultural background. Later when there was still a shortage, they opened it up for Pacific islanders, but then closed the door and tried to remove them all when the economy hit tough times (of course, they only tried to remove the Pacific islanders).

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Posted in: U.S. sailor referred to prosecutors for alleged drug smuggling See in context

In Japan, if its a prescription drug or an over the counter medicine from outside of Japan, 

Your doctor must have been mistaken. The generic name for allegra is Fexofenadine. It is an over the counter drug in Japan that doesn't require a prescription and can be purchased from local pharmacies (you can even buy it on Amazon Japan), and customs allows up to one month per package. I get my allegra from Australia without any issues, and yes sometimes customs have opened it and cleared. Even though it is a local over the counter drug, I use Australia as it is cheaper and the doses are higher (180 mg per capsule).

Because I have a brain tumor I get a variety of prescription drugs sent to me by mail such as tramadol and cannabidiol, and other things. I always check directly with the customs agents and asl permission from them directly before I order (you can email them directly, here is Japan's English email address list they provide for people to ask them questions ). They are always very polite and tell me exactly what I can and can't import.

General prescription medicines that are non-narcotic or stimulant based, and are not controlled at a higher category can be mailed to Japan at the rate of one month's dose per month.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested after 3 found dead in house in Kagoshima Pref See in context


I read the article, and then I read your summarized outline. Sometimes some of the crimes I read about in Japan are so weird and convoluted, that it helps to have a more outlined summary of events, like the one you wrote, just to make sure I’m understandng it correctly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested for murder after bringing father’s body to police station See in context

 He went inside and said he had killed his father, 

In certain ways, being a cop must be a lot easier in Japan than other countries. For one thing, it seems like a lot of murderers turn themselves in. I mean, it reduces the amount of detective practice work they get. but...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Amazon Japan hikes shipping rates by up to 50% amid rising logistic costs See in context

Have been using them for years. The Prime service is still relatively cheap, and also comes with Amazon Prime TV and Amazon Prime music, at no additional charge. The delivery company they use is Yamato, who last year increased the pay, and break times for their drivers. The Yamato guy knows me by name now because I get so many deliveries, and he seems to have an affinity for the fact we're both bald. So it's not uncommon for him to yell out to me by name when he sees me as he's driving up the road in my part of town.

As another poster mentioned, most of the products purchased are actually sold third party by Japanese businesses. In that sense, Amazon is more like Rakuten, or Yahoo shopping.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Cannabis ingredient holds promise as antipsychotic medicine See in context

Not in Japan it doesn’t...

The chemical they are talking about is CBD and it is perfectly legal to buy n Japan. I use it in Japan to treat symptoms caused by a bran tumor. Don’t confuse CBD with THC. CBD is rated as a dietary supplement in Japan so long as it contains less than 0.3% THC. There are some very good Japan based suppliers of CBD. It is non-psychoactive (but still neuroactive which is why it can be good for reducing pain).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Man sent to prosecutors for shooting at cat with air gun See in context

Weird behavior, and one that needs to be looked from a bigger issue (lack of maturity, or unbalanced issues.

In regards to the cat, I’m assuming he used an Airsoft pistol like the type you can buy without a license, but which are low powered so wouldn’t have seriously injured the cat. That doesn’t make his behavior OK, or anything. But for an actual air pistol a license is required, and only 500 people in the whole country are allowed a license at any one time for an air pistol. So, if he possessed one of those pistols without a license, that in itself would be considered a serious offense by the Japanese police.

but either way, the desire to hurt innocent animals is disturbing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Ex-SDF member shoots pet dog, then himself in Kitakyushu apartment See in context

nandakandamanda wrote:

(Maybe a translation mistake, or vagueness in the original, but this would have to be a shotgun that he had used for hunting and for clay pigeons, surely not a hunting rifle. In fact I'd lay good money on it.

He could easily have owned both, and used the hunting rifle as described in the article. In Japan, once you have had a shotgun and license for 10 years you can apply for a hunting rifle (as in a centerfire rifle, not a .22 rimfire, because .22 are banned for hunting). I'm currently going through the process now to get a gun license for target shooting, so am familiar with the regulations. There is a handful of foreigners in Japan who have their hunting rifle license, but as you suggested, it is rare. Shotguns are more commonly owned due to the way the Japanese licensing system is set up. Apparently, the ten year limit to own a hunting rifle was put in place after a teenager shot a policeman with one of the two hunting rifles he was licensed to own.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese girl says school forced her to dye hair black; sues Osaka gov't See in context

My daughter has even lighter brown and very thin hair. Luckily she is in high-school that even allows dying hair in all colors for their culture festival! She wanted to bleach and her classmates do it but we strongly oppose it because it might damage her weaker hear. And now she is doing even hair-modelling so being different is not always bad in Japan!

I've worked at high schools in Japan for the last 14 years, and the most liberal public high schools I've worked at have always been in Osaka, where I've taught for the last seven years. At the three public high schools I've worked at in Osaka, none of them required uniforms, and all allowed hair dying. One allowed extreme hair dying (shocking pink, for example), the other two were fine with it, as long as it wasn't too extreme (tinting, blond streaks, and other normal types of color changes are fine, for example). However, I guess that's just been the schools I've worked at (the more academic the school, the more liberal the rules were).

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: LGBT groups, educators call for diversity in school uniforms See in context

I’ve worked at four different high schools in Japan; only one of those schools required uniforms. The three public high schools I worked at in Osaka never required uniforms. A private high school I taught at was the only high school that required uniforms.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Sick pay in Japan: What you need to know See in context

I took two month's sick leave, but it was for a brain tumor, and most of that time was spent in the hospital. My contract covered 100% pay for the first month, and 50% pay for the second month. Thereafter, if I had not returned back to work my company health insurance would have paid 80% of my salary for the remainder of my contract, or until I returned to work. Of course there was a lot of paperwork involved, basically I had to get an official leave of absence certificate, and an official reinstatement back from leave of absence certificate when I returned to work. But for serious illnesses like that, sick leave was not an issue. Ironically when I got food poisoning and was out for three days I was expected to take nenkyuu; but that was partly because I hadn't assembled the paperwork so didn't bother about sick leave.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.